Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Adventure Backpack & 6 Other Weekend Highlights

Red Rock Morning (stronglikemycoffee.com)

My weekend was a mixture of everything….chores, work, interning, basketball, running, hiking, picnicking, chick flicks, cooking, homework, shopping, coffee shops. Here are 7 highlights:

1.) The Adventure Backpack: I bought this backpack to use as a purse, but I only ever seem to use it when I go on a hike and pack a picnic. It’s become a picnic basket :) I also put it in my closet and forget about it as soon as I get home, so I pull it out for the next hike to find it already stocked with sunscreen/hand sanitizer/chapstick/deodorant (essential for any outdoor activity right? haha) hence: The Adventure Backpack.

Hiking Bell Rock in Sedona (stronglikemycoffee.com)

2.) Day Trip to Sedona with my best friend: For us, it was just a quick day trip for lunch and a hike. But some of the license plates in the parking lot showed our fellow hikers had come from Minnesota, Illinois, Maine, Kentucky and Missouri. Our 70-degree February weather is probably making more than half the country pretttty jealous right about now.

Kerri and I have been best friends ever since we became cross country teammates freshman year of college and bonded over Sunday night ‘Desperate Housewives’ episodes and gossiping about boys. Four years later, Desperate Housewives is cancelled and boys have come and gone but we are closer than ever. After we graduate in May, we’ll be living in different states. So we are fitting in a few last girls’ days!

Kerri hiking in sedona (Stronglikemycoffee.com)3.) Church Hunting and Traffic Jams: There is a church, The Church of the Red Rocks in Sedona, that is built in to the side of the mountain. I’m not even sure what denomination this church is affiliated with, just that it is absolutely beautiful and we wanted a picture. We asked Siri on Kerri’s iPhone for directions….first mistake. We saw the church in the distance, and watched it get farther and farther away as we followed Siri’s directions in the complete opposite direction.

Instead, we came upon one of the round-abouts at the perfect timing. Two cars were obviously confused by the counter-clockwise stop-sign alternative and a car crash caused the single-lane round-about to completely block traffic in both directions. We sat still for almost thirty minutes waiting for traffic to begin flowing again. Kerri had plenty of time to walk out of the car and take a picture of this sign.

Welcome to Sedona (stronglikemycoffee.com)

We had good music (Eli Young Band!) and even better views to keep us from growing impatient.

We kept making sarcastic comments like, “Gosh nature is just so ugly.”

“I’d much rather be looking at my cell phone right now.”

“These poor homeowners who have to look at that view every day. Must be rough.”

And no, we never made it to the church.

4.) This creepy photobomb:

Me in Sedona (stronglikemycoffee.com)Looks like a normal picture, right…..

……?

Creepy photobomb (stronglikemycoffee.com)No, we do not know this person, and we thought we were alone until we were flipping through pictures at home….

5.) S’mores Quest Bar: Kerri and I both love learning about nutrition and trying out new healthy snacks and products. (The first thing out of Kerri’s mouth when we found a flat-ish spot at the top of Bell Rock: WHERE ARE THE SNACKS?!)

Quest bars became popular last year for their high protein/low sugar formula and just introduced a new S’mores flavor. Currently they are only available in GNC in our town, so we made a special little stop on the way home for a protein-packed snack. Delicious :)

Taking pictures in Sedona (stronglikemycoffee.com)

6.) Jenna Marbles Videos: In high school, I saw the viral Youtube video “How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking” video from Jenna Marbles that launched her into Internet-stardom. I used to watch her weekly videos after that until I started college. Kerri and I decided to see if Jenna Marbles was still making videos (she is!) and watch some of the newer ones. We loved the “What a girl’s eyebrows mean” :D

7.) A big W for our basketball team today! I was working at the game for my sports marketing internship, and it was one of the most energetic crowds we’ve had this season. The pom-pom giveaway was a huge success and made the cheering spectators that much more spirited. Our boys played the leading team in the conference. The score was 70-69 in the last 30 seconds and they pulled away with a victory!

Aaaaand there’s still a full day of the weekend to enjoy. I hope where ever you are, you’re staying warm!

Xoxo

Throwback Thursday IV

This is my fourth Thursday that I’ve gotten out of blog-writing by bringing up a blast-from-the-past post. ;)

Throwback Thursdays are just a great way to relive old blog posts that have been long forgotten over the past months/years. Today I am sharing a portion of my adventure in Yellowstone National Park two summers ago. While I was celebrating my birthday last weekend, we spent a couple hours in the hotel room getting ready with the TV on a random channel. There was a show about the natural wonders of the world with a segment on Yellowstone’s incredible scientific anomalies. I don’t think I fully appreciated Yellowstone while we were there, because I was too paranoid about becoming the next victim of a bison stampede or an unlucky bystander in a bear face-off. (Spoiler Alert: neither of these things happened.)

This #tbt post is also just another attempt to relive summer.

Running Scared

Originally Posted on July 22, 2013

Once we left Bozeman, MT we took the scenic route to Yellowstone National Park. I have never been to the park, didn’t even really know much about it so I was quite surprised and amazed to see that there were hundreds of miles within the park. Who knew?!

Part of the appeal of this summer vacation was a road trip with lots of scenic sights and hiking some trails. I’m sad to say that today I learned that I like the idea of hiking more than actual leave-civilization-and-walk-among-the-wild-creatures hiking. The “Caution: Wildlife is Dangerous” signs didn’t scare me. Seeing this entire herd of buffalo next to the two-lane highway didn’t scare me. But walking along the boardwalk to view the Mud Volcano and happening upon two wild Bison had me panicked and squeezing my mom’s shoulder, begging to get out. That’s the moment when I realized I was way closer to nature than I wanted to be.

scary bison herd (stronglikemycoffee.com)The first night in Yellowstone I asked the ranger in the visitor’s center for recommendations of running trails. So many things wrong with her answer; she said I shouldn’t run. That if I did encounter a bear, my running would trigger their predator instinct and I would become their “prey.” She also said that I should never run on trails, but that running on the road is dangerous too because the road is narrow and people suck at driving. Oh and don’t run with an ipod. Don’t run by yourself. Don’t run early in the morning. Basically: there is no safe way to get in your run. BUZZ KILL.

We were on the half-mile loop that encompassed Mud Volcano, Dragon’s Mouth and some other mud pots when we saw a lone Bison in the center of the loop. The boardwalk did not have hand rails separating the humans from the animals, and he was getting awfully close to the walkway. At one point, it looked like he was going to walk along with boardwalk with us. I was a little leery of being so close to something so wild, but the full on panic didn’t set in yet. That wasn’t until we saw the second bull, a few yards away sitting idly.

Until he wasn’t sitting anymore.

He stood up and made a huge cloud of dust as he pawed at the ground, then faced the first bison. The first bison started walking towards him, grunting at a woman in front of him. All I was thinking was “Oh snap, they are going to fight and I’m glad I’m not that poor woman sandwiched between them.”

A few moments before they faced each other....by then I was pre-occupied with getting the heck out of there.

I watch Planet Earth; I see what those things do for survival. Mad dash to the car, please!

My goals for the day went from “Get in a 10-mile run” to “Run a few miles but get in at least 10 miles of hiking” all the way to “Get me out of here alive.” Dramatic? Probably. But seeing a 2,000-pound animal literally ten feet away and coming closer, making suspicious grunting sounds and kicking up dust with its legs doesn’t exactly scream “take pictures of me, I won’t bite.” I wanted out of there and quickly nixed the 6-mile hike we had next on the agenda. I wish I was a little more fearless but I can’t help the fact that the possibility of getting closer to a wild animal than a zoo exhibit sends my heart into a panic. I got my cardio exercise today from bison sightings alone!

scary bison yellowstone (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Hiking along the coast line in Southern California is a tad different than in the pre-historic lands of Yellowstone.

I was hoping to see a Moose though. I’m sure they’re no less dangerous than a herd of buffalo but a moose just looks so chill. Like “Let’s just hang out and watch the river flow, guys.”  Whereas a buffalo says “Mess with me and I’ll head-butt you into a coma.”

The way people would pull off to the side of the road, get out of their cars and start approaching the animals for photos reminded me of Jurassic Park. We just needed some super cool Jeeps to tour around in. When two bison crossed the street in front of us, cars backed up for a mile. My dad goes, “Welcome to Nature. It’s a traffic jam.”

not so scary bison (stronglikemycoffee.com)

The lodge we stayed in was super cozy, back to the good ole’ days of no TV, internet, microwaves & cell phone service. We actually played cards, read, drank instant coffee…. and watched movies on our laptops ;) Can’t stay completely out of this century.  Yellowstone is a place that everyone should get to see, to appreciate the beauty. Nature can do some freaky stuff! But next vacation I would like to do something a little less rustic and woodsy. Preferably somewhere I can run without seeing Warning/Danger/Caution signs along my route ;)

If you think my fear is exaggerated and bison look as casual as cattle, just Youtube search “Bison attack at Yellowstone”! Probably not the night before entering the park though…

Camelback Mountain + 8 Scottsdale restaurants in 24 hours

Tomorrow I have an exam at 8:00am, so naturally I am trying to relive my incredible weekend by sharing pictures with you rather than cram study. ;)

Cheers from Old Town Tavern in Scottsdale (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

I celebrated my birthday from Thursday night clear through Monday morning and there isn’t any moment that sticks out as my favorite. Friends, family, food, drinks, sunshine, hiking, and good music = one blur of happiness.

Camelback Mountain is the highest point in Phoenix, and my parents and I love to hike! This was described as an intense climb, but only 1.2 miles to the top. We each only brought a small bottle of water, no snacks. Figured we’d be up and down in an hour.

View from the top of Camelback Mountain Phoeniz, AZ (stronglikemycoffee.com)

WRONG.

The “intense climb” is no joke, literal climbing up and over large rocks. This is not a dirt trail. It’s a rock-covered obstacle course. Which was kind of a blast! We just should have come prepared with a backpack for more water and snacks.

As soon as we started, sirens came blaring in and a dozen firemen unloaded rescue gear. They started the hike with us, on a mission to assist an injured hiker. We watched as the hiker, who injured his ankle (hmmm that sounds familiar), was helicoptered from the mountain. According to one of the firemen, this is completely typical. An every weekend activity.
Firemen rescue on Camelback Mountain (stronglikemycoffee.com)

We had a clear view of Phoenix from the top, the grid of neighborhoods and downtown buildings. We were suprised by how crowded the mountain was the entire time, considering it was Valentine’s Day.

Valentine's day martini glass (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

Time to jump into the pool again! We had clemetines, apple slices and yogurt to tide us over before another dinner and night downtown. I decided to hop on the treadmill for 4 miles and mini core workout too. Help offset all the splurges over our four days. Dinner was at the crazy-crowded and super loud (we take that as a good sign!) restaurant RNR. I ordered the Ahi Tuna tacos which came on jicama instead of a tortilla.

Ahi Tuna Tacos from RNR in Scottsdale (stronglikemycoffee.com)

They were delicious…but tiny. Like a baby appetizer. Good thing we were heading to Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, next!

Dierks Bentley Whiskey Row Scottsdale (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

Country-themed bars are my favorite. The atmosphere and the crowds at these bars are typically more relaxed, less formal, plus the music is the best. And I’d rather two-step than bump-and-grind any day. ;)

Also, cocktails taste 67% better when served in a mason jar.

Scottsdale, Arizona is a part of Phoenix. Our hotel was just a block away from Old Town Scottsdale with dozens of restaurants and bars with outdoor seating and adorable decorations. So on Sunday (after another couple hours by the pool…. I told you I was craving the sun!), we decided to make an entire day and night out of walking through all of the shops, restaurants and bars.

We started at Sip, which is an ecclectic mix of coffee and beer.

Sip coffee and beer I would love to say I loved this place. Anywhere with a unique menu or funky mix automatically has my attention. I thought the beer handles next to the espresso maker was hilarious. But I have to admit….I threw away my Americano after two sips. And if you know me, you know it has to be baaaaad to not finish a coffee drink. So our first stop = fail.

Brathaus in ScottsdaleRight next door was Brathaus, infinitely better experience than at the previous bar. We got appetizers and enjoyed sitting outside. There was jumbo-sized jenga, cornhole, and other games. It was the type of outdoor area I would love to have as a backyard.

Before long we were walking along again, through the art distict and the jewelry district.

kissing the statue in scottsdale's art district (stronglikemycoffee.com)(I wanted to kiss the statue but I’m also afraid of germs.)

Next up – Italian Grotto. We sat outside here again because it was nearly sunset, that perfect golden lighting. This place had great music too and really cool sports memorabilia decorations.

Italian Grotto in Scottsdale (stronglikemycoffee.com)The next bar was my FAVORITE from the weekend. Old Town Tavern. This bar was very small, but it had indoor, outdoor, and upstairs seating. We started at the outdoor bar, moved to the bar inside, then moved back outside to a table. There was a live band playing great covers and the bartender made fantastic cocktails. If I were a local, I’d be here all the time for the atmosphere! We spent the most amount of time here.

FullSizeRender(34)Even though my birthday was Thursday, I hadn’t gotten a birthday dessert yet. (Yes, there was banana pudding on Thursday. But I mean, that’s pudding…) I’m an ice cream girl! Sugar Bowl was a 50’s themed diner, decced out in pink. My kinda place! We sat up at the bar and I ordered a banana split with coffee and cookies n’ cream ice cream. This day had already been all about eating and drinking, and I’d spent a month eating healthfully in anticipation of birthday splurges. GO BIG OR GO HOME. (I went big.)

Sugar Bowl banana split

Our 7-hour food fest finally came to an end Sunday night. It was so abnormal for our usual healthy habits and routines, which made it all the more special to me! We were carefree for the weekend, ignoring calories and  treadmillls for a few hours which were replaced by so much laughter and fun. Definitely not an every-weekend type of outting but definitely a well-earned treat. Although I’m sure my stomach and my skinny jeans are happy that the weekend is over and normal eating/exercise has returned.

Also I told myself that I would be done blogging and back to studying by 9pm, and it’s now 9:27. So I shall wrap this up.

P.S. This song came on at Whiskey Row, the first time I’ve ever heard of this singer. I like it!

Goodnight XOXO!

 

%d bloggers like this: